Warning: This recap contains spoilers for the May 30 episode of The Bachelorette.
It’s week 2, rose lovers, and JoJo greets the morning with a soulful stare and a positive attitude. (Though for some reason she’s at a random hotel and not in the Bachelorette cottage near the mansion.)“I am really hopeful that at the end of all this, that I’m going to find that love that Ben and Lauren found together,” she says dreamily.
Which brings us to the 20 remaining guys who’ll do their darndest to dash those hopes. They’ve all gathered in Casa Bachelorette’s kitchen for the breakfast buffet, at which point Chad proposes a toast: “To a beautiful girl, a beautiful life, f**k you guys, I’m gonna make her my wife.”
Enter Chris Harrison with the date card. ED Guru does the honors, rattling off the 10 names for the group date: Luke, Grant, Will, Evan, Daniel, Vinny, Ali, James F., Wells and his hat, and Robby. But before the chosen ones can even celebrate, the sound of an explosion rocks the mansion. What could it be?
Fortunately, this little pyrotechnics display is just an excuse for JoJo to dress up as sexy firefighter — with a giant hose, of course.
“Are y'all ready for a hot date?” she coos, and then leads the guys off for a fiery adventure. Left behind at the mansion, Chad starts filling his suitcase with giant jars of protein powder. Unfortunately, he’s not packing his steroids and going home — instead, he’s going to put his baggage (literal, in this case) to good use. Or… to a use.
The rest of the guys spy on Chad through the window, transfixed by his testosterone-laden play for attention. “It’s like chad to the max,” one of them marvels. Should we now make Chad’s official nickname “Meathead”? Yes, yes I think we should.
Meanwhile on the group date, JoJo and the boys arrive at Rio Hondo Fire Academy. Chief Tracy Rickman informs the men that the Bachelorette “wants to know which one of you will be able to take care of her during an emergency situation” — because JoJo’s vagina would render her completely useless in an emergency, of course.
While Wells realizes he doesn’t have a chance…
…the rest of the guys think they’ve got a shot, if they can just edge out real firefighter Grant. But it’s not going to be easy for any of them. Chief Tracy has them dragging hoses, pulling hoses, running with hoses… and of course it doesn’t take long for someone to make a penis joke.
Thanks, buddy. By the time we get to the chopping and smashing portion of the challenge, poor Wells — who as James F. points out probably weighs less than all the gear he’s wearing — looks like death warmed over.
Of course, JoJo feels the need to sit with Wells while his body decides whether or not to expire from heat stroke — so the whole thing still worked out ok for our 98-pound-DJ… until Chief Tracy tells Wells that his sticktuitiveness has earned him a place in the next round of the competition, along with Luke and Grant.
Their task? Running an obstacle course to rescue damsel-in-distress JoJo, who awaits them at top of a tower. So Grant’s got this in the bag, right? He sure thinks so. “Luke’s ahead of me, but I’m thinking there’s no way this is gonna happen,” he says. “No way.” As much as I’d like to counter that with a “Yes way,” as expected Grant makes it to the top of the tower first — so he gets the extra time with JoJo during part 2 of the date.
We don’t get to see a whole lot of their conversation, but it seems to get pretty deep pretty fast. “I’m never going to leave my house and not wake you up and not kiss you and not tell you that I love you before I leave,” Grant assures JoJo. “Because as messed up as it sounds, like, there’s a chance that I might not come back.” And she LOVES it.
Moving on to the opposite end of the stud spectrum, Wells gets the next one-on-one sitdown with JoJo, and he charms the Bachelorette with his self-deprecating humor, boyish smile, and pictures of his bloodhound, Carl. Of course, one of the pics backfires a bit. “Is that you?” JoJo marvels. “I can’t even recognize you with a beanie on. That’s hot.” So… Wells looks hot in the picture and JoJo can’t recognize him… Cue the sad trombone.
As JoJo cycles through the rest of the guys, Luke seethes about having to wait for his turn. (Pro tip: Watch the show before signing up for it, guys.) Once Luke finally sits down with the Bachelorette, she strokes his hair gently as he tells her all about his past as a soldier, his last long-term relationship (which ended in 2013), and his current desire to, like, feel feelings and stuff. And she LOVES it.
Even after two steamy first kisses, though, JoJo hands the date rose to… Wells? Score one for the little guy!
The next day, Derek the commercial banker from Florida puts on one of his many ringer tees, packs his worst-case-scenario suitcase, and greets JoJo in the living room for the first one-on-one date of the season. Here’s hoping JoJo and Derek liked those Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid, because Team Bachelorette has co-opted the idea for their date.
They both choose sky (the ocean is totally overrated, duh), and are then presented with two private jets — one going north, one going south. Since they don’t want to go to Anaheim, San Diego or Tijuana, JoJo and Derek decide to hop on the plane headed north. During the flight, JoJo continues her quest to make sweet, sweet hand love with every guy on the roster.
To no one’s surprise, they land in San Francisco — where two silent limo drivers hold signs reading “Golden Gate Bridge” and “Lombard Street.” What’ll it be, folks? “I think we would kick ourselves if we didn’t do Golden Gate Bridge,” says Derek, who seems to be making all the decisions so far. Unfortunately the sign is kind of a misnomer, because all they do is look at the Golden Gate bridge while having a picnic lunch… and making out, of course.
Back at Casa Bachelorette, James T. is leading the guys in another round of the soon-to-be-chart-topping-hit “Jo-Jo-Jo-Jo-Jo.” Well, most of the guys — Daniel and Chad have split from the herd and are sitting on the patio offering salient critiques of the other men. “I always warn girls, ‘Stay away from the nice guys,’” growls Chad. “People think I’m an a**hole, but in the end I’m actually nice. It’s the nice guys who are actually the a**holes.” Daniel agrees wholeheartedly, but only because he’s a spineless yes-man. Chad goes on to suggest that a “protein shake made of the group of dudes here” would have “zero chance” with JoJo — and it’s hard to argue with him. I don’t know JoJo at all, but I’m fairly certain if someone handed her a glass of ground up human male mixed with GNC Pro Performance powder and water, she would decline to marry it.
Let’s take a step away from the cannibalistic, somewhat homoerotic metaphors and find out who’s going second group date. Jordan, Christian, Nick, James T., Tiny Marine, and Chad get the call, meaning Brandon the hipster, James the Superfan, and Robby the former swimmer will have to go without a date this week. Chad helpfully notes that the guys should just chill out because JoJo is “not gonna disappear next week,” but Robby doesn’t seem to find that very comforting.
My hand to God, I forgot that Derek and JoJo’s date was still going on — but it is! Now they’re at dinner, and JoJo is grilling Derek about his Last Big Relationship. Turns out poor Derek was cuckolded by the last woman he loved, and after that, he went all Simon & Garfunkel on love.
Still, knowing that JoJo survived the humiliation of “I Love You”-Gate emboldens Derek to “open up,” as it were. So naturally, he gets the rose.
Our final date of the episode begins at ESPN’s Los Angeles headquarters, where the guys stumble upon a taping of SportsNation — and just look who’s “live” “on air” talking about “basketball”!
Great. Anyhow, hosts Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley inform the guys that they’ll be competing in several football-themed drills, and the results will be revealed in the all-important “rose rankings.” It all starts in good fun, with a “touchdown celebration” challenge. Props to Tiny Marine for avoiding the clichéd “bucking bronco” dance and turning his rose into a gun instead.
Things get a little uncomfortable when it’s time for Chad’s turn — both because of Chad’s unnecessary roughness with JoJo (in the form of an unsolicited bear hug) as well as Max Kellerman’s reaction to it. “Hands off the merchandise!” quips the host with a smarmy grin. Dude, can we at least pretend that JoJo is not an object?
Up next is the dreaded dizzy-bat/spontaneous marriage proposal exercise, and call me crazy but I gotta give it to Saint Nick. That guy is just adorable.
All of the guys do their best to profess fake-love for JoJo… except, of course, for Chad. His simple “Will you marry me?” leaves the hosts less than impressed (“Chad’s not a giver!” cries Marcellus), and the Bachelorette understandably underwhelmed. “What are all the things you love about me?” she asks Chad playfully. He does not play along.
“You’re starting off a little naggy here,” drawls Chad. She does NOT love it.
“What is going on?” bellows Marcellus. “Did you see her brothers?” Seriously. Somewhere, those dudes are watching this and they are pissed.
Things only get worse from there for Chad. During the press conference drill, Team Bachelorette has the SportsNation hosts ask each bachelor which guy JoJo shouldn’t pick — and naturally they all say Chad. This may come as a surprise to you, but Chad doesn’t take criticism well. “I think you missed the key portion of today’s activities,” ventures Christian. In response, Chad sneers, “Besides sucking up?” (Actual answer: “Having fun.”) When Jordan ribs him for using the n-word (“nagging”), that’s more than Chad can bear. “I’m not an actor,” he snaps at Jordan. “Apparently you look like you are right now, so that’s cool.” It’s right around now that JoJo starts to sense some tension between the guys.
Chad’s real problem with the whole process, you see, is that the “reality” of this “reality TV” show contains a whole lotta contrived situations. And that just goes against his “be real” credo. “These guys can all tell you all the different things that they love about you and that they’ve studied about you on TV or whatever, but I don’t know,” he tells JoJo. And when it’s Chad’s turn to choose which guy is there for the “wrong reasons,” he doesn’t hesitate. “I feel like everybody…Y'all don’t know her yet, you can’t be in love with her. And if you are, that’s weird!”
Well, the guy has a point. Of course, the point Chad’s missing is that none of the guys were actually proposing to JoJo today, nor have any of them actually said they love JoJo. But no matter — the Bachelorette likes how “honest” and “up front” Chad’s being. Still, she worries: “I don’t know if it’s too much.” (Spoiler alert, mama: It IS.)
When it comes time for the power rankings, Tiny Marine takes third place, followed by Chad (blech), and the winner… James! I actually cheered upon hearing this announcement, though I can’t tell you why. The dude really needs to stop singing. Still, it’s nice to see that the SportsNation guys didn’t automatically hand the W to Jordan.
The cocktail party takes place at the Houdini estate, and because he topped the power rankings, James gets the first one-on-one sitdown with JoJo. But as soon as she starts talking in voice-over about how James has “all these qualities that make for an amazing life partner,” I tuned out — even if this dude gets the rose tonight, he’s not gonna “win.” His heartfelt letter to JoJo (he’s a singer-songwriter, in case you forgot) was sweet — “I love God, but I let him down daily” even made the Bachelorette cry. But that kiss? Pure friendzone.
As Tiny Marine leads JoJo away for a chat in a comically large chair…
…Chad sits and stews about how lame all the guys are. Tiny Marine is “too short,” Christian “doesn’t know how to be real”; Nick is “trying soooo hard”; and Jordan does nothing but “kiss [JoJo’s] ass constantly.” None of those guys “have what she needs,” he says. “They don’t have what any woman needs, really.” You know it, bro! What women really need is a dude who’s not afraid to tell women what they really need. Thank God for the Chads of the world.
Anyhow, when he sits down with JoJo, Chad explains that while he has been in love before, he hasn’t dated anyone for four years because he’s been working so hard. “I want to be able to give you everything if I love you,” he explains. “I don’t want to wake up in the morning… and go to work for 10 hours.” That sentiment, plus the rather unfortunate news that his mother died six months ago, qualifies to JoJo as “opening up,” and she’s pleased to see Chad’s more “sensitive” side. But not sensitive enough: James gets the date rose.
Rather than accept defeat, the next night Chad decides to stake out the Casa Bachelorette entrance so he can grab a drink — and share a kiss — with JoJo before she heads in to meet the guys. When he strolls in with the Bachelorette, the rest of the dudes are shocked and appalled that Chad had so flagrantly broken the Bachelor Bro Code.
On a happier note, Chase from Colorado — who didn’t get a date this week — enlisted Team Bachelorette to help whip him up a snowstorm for a spontaneous “mini-date” with JoJo.
Between that and Will’s juvenile idea to TP the trees in front of the mansion, those Bachelor Interns really earned their minimum wage this week. Side note: Am I the only one who can’t tell Chase and Robby apart?
Having secured his smooch from JoJo, Chad turns his attention to eating every last piece of meat in Casa Bachelorette. Cold cuts, chicken kebabs, hot wings — you name it, he’s shoving it in his pie hole.
Grant, we’ll let you do the honors: “Chad has taken the term ‘meathead’ to a whole, unparalleled level.” Thus fortified, King Meathead decides that he needs more time with JoJo, so he barges in on Tiny Marine’s chat and steals her away. Even when a gang of six or seven disgruntled dudes surrounds him and gripes about his cavalier attitude, Chad just plays it cool, boy.
Who here is impressed that Chad has seen West Side Story? Now that he knows he’s getting to the guys, Chad turns his douchery up another notch and interrupts another conversation — this one with poor Evan, who is too polite and/or small to tell Chad to go eff himself. Seeing Evan’s disappointment is the last straw for Tiny Marine, and he marches off to confront the enemy. The conversation goes something like this:
Alex: You’re being a d-bag.
Chad: [Beep] you, [beep]head.
Alex: Everyone hates you.
Chad: I’m going to [beep] your [beep] up so bad you’ll [beep].
Clink clink clink! Thank the Lord God above, it’s Chris Harrison with his Butter Knife of Bad News! Let’s put an end to everyone’s misery, shall we?
Of course Team Bachelorette is going to make Chad — who by the way is STILL eating meat as the rose ceremony begins — wait until the end to get his boutonniere. First up is Tiny Marine (“She’s going to keep Alex around because she doesn’t want America to think that she hates short people,” quips Chad), followed by Christian, Robby, Luke, Chase, Jordan, Grant, Ali, Daniel, James F., Nick, Vinny, Evan, and… Chad.
Fare thee well Brandon the hipster, James the Superfan, and Will the toilet-paper vandal! I’m pretty sure we’ll see at least one of you in Paradise. In the meantime, we’ll all keep watching The Chad Show — which gets two full episodes next week. Start slamming those protein shakes now to prepare! Before you leave, let me know who you think has a shot with JoJo in the comments below. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to start printing up my “Christian for Bachelor” fliers now.